Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and other congressional Republicans asked then-President Donald Trump for forgiveness after the 2020 election, according to emails and testimony revealed Thursday by the House Select Committee on January 6.
The committee showed an email Brooks sent to the White House on Jan. 11, 2021, with the subject line “sorry.”
“President Trump has asked me to send you this letter. This letter is also in response to a request from Matt Gaetz,” the email reads. “As such, I recommend that the President grant blanket (all purpose) pardons to the following groups of people”, which included a group of “all members of Congress and senators who voted to reject ballot submissions from the Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral colleges”.
Trump’s former White House attorney, Eric Herschmann, said Gaetz had asked for a pardon. “The general tone was that we could be sued because we were defending, you know, the president’s positions on these things,” Herschmann said.
“The forgiveness he was talking about, asking for, was as broad as you could describe,” Herschmann said.
John McEntee, another Trump aide, told the committee in a deposition interview that aired during Thursday’s hearing that Gaetz told him he had asked for forgiveness. “He told me he asked Meadows for forgiveness,” McEntee said.
McEntee added that he’s also heard talk of a blanket pardon. “I had heard of that,” he said.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said at a Dec. 21, 2020 meeting at the White House that there were congressional Republicans who were “advocates” of the sorry.
“I assume that Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Brooks that I know had both advocated that there be a general pardon for the members involved in this meeting and a handful of other members who were not at the meeting on the 21st December as preventive pardons,” Hutchinson said. . “Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon.
Hutchinson also testified that Perry, who played a key role in linking DOJ official Jeffrey Clark to Trump, asked for a pardon, along with Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
Asked by committee investigators if Perry had directly asked Hutchinson for forgiveness, she replied, “Yes, he did.”
Hutchinson also testified that she heard Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “beg forgiveness from (Assistant White House Counsel Patrick) Philbin,” but said she didn’t hear it directly. .
Rep. Jim Jordan, Hutchinson said, hadn’t asked for a pardon, but “more of an update on whether the White House was going to pardon members of Congress.”
“Mr. Gohmert also asked for one,” Hutchinson said.